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First Official Race

Monday, April 22, 2013

A friend of mine had signed up for a 4 mile race with the New York Road Runners on 4/21 quite a bit of time ago. Realistically, I said I wouldn't be able to do the 8 am start time. This would require at least 40 minutes on the subway, meaning I would wake up around 6:20 to have about 10 minutes to brush my teeth, wash my face, throw on my running things, and race to the subway (I hate how spaced apart trains are on weekends). Friends of mine were having a going away dinner the night before, and I just knew that lots of food and lots of wine and probably staying up later than usual would be a recipe for disaster.

But with the Boston events, I was feeling more and more compelled to run the race. Officially a race to benefit NYC Parks, it soon turned into a run for Boston (they even made up nice t-shirts to raise funds for victims). I decided, to heck with it, I'll do the race, even if I have to do it veeerrryyy slowwlllyyyy.

The dinner on Saturday night came and went and I stuck to my 11pm curfew and was in bed by midnight, alarm set. I got a terrible night of sleep. My brain was fueled by many glasses of wine and the nagging thought of "ugh such an early morning ahead, should I do this?" My worst fear was that I would wake up thinking I felt fine, only to start running and feel the onset of what I can only (semi-politely) call a "stomach explosion." Most of those 6 hours of sleep was spent in a state of semi-consciousness, so I got up feeling anything but rested. Luckily, I didn't feel hungover, just very dehydrated and tired. I considered not doing it, but threw on my shoes, missed the subway I had planned on taking, and met with my friend 15-20 minutes later than anticipated. Luckily, we had planned on leaving enough time to head to Central Park together, so we were lined up in our corral with time to spare.

And then I was off! The miraculous thing about running is that even when you're feeling like crap, somehow your body perceives the movement as something like "Oh, we're running?! Ok, let's do this!" I felt great. I felt amazing. I felt like one of those jerks who looks a little too happy to be running (I was smiling for a good part of it). I finished with a 9:33 pace, finishing in 38:10. Not bad for a race I was seriously considering bailing on only an hour earlier.

This was also my first race ever. I've loved running, but I've never done a race. I never really knew how I'd feel about them, because I very much like exercising and running alone, and I wasn't sure if I'd feel too much like I was "competing" and being pushed and would feel disheartened, but it wasn't that way at all. If anything it motivated me more. I think I've become addicted to races. And my husband was thoughtful enough to get himself out of bed at 7:15 to come and surprise me at the finish line. He was proud of me, and more importantly, I was proud of myself.

And then we went to Trader Joe's and got all the makings for lox and cream cheese bagel sandwiches. In all, a very good, exhilarating day.
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